Africa and Secession Possibilities

Its been a while, the other day i had my friends tell me that every one faces a block once in a while, and i told them no am not suffering from one but my day was no longer 24 hours any more, time is the reason have kept away from my tiny space on the internet. A block is not a bad thing for a writer but i don’t think it is my issue at the moment.

so let me try to paint how i see African nations either dividing, seceding, splintering, or otherwise scramble the old colonial borders

A few weeks back the Kards voted overwhelmingly to seceded from Iraq, in Europe the Catalans went on to vote in a bid to seceded from Spain, months back the Scottish failed through a vote to secede from United Kingdom. There are many regions that are in a bid to break away from there major states and Brexit looked more of a secession from European Union, anyway today i will try to address the issue of separatism on the African continent.

I strongly believe in Africa as a country but before it happens there are secession movements that have to come through. There are about 30 African countries facing various separatists movement and most of them if not all of them are realistic and for the right reasons. For countries like Ethiopia there are six major ones that’s how bad it is in the political capital of Africa.

 Just after the European colonialists left Africa, the continent broke out in a rash of political separatist groups, each agitating for the right to secession and autonomy, it’s not a modern thing for countries to break apart.

Uganda my home land has too a possible separatist movements that can never be down played and if ignored external forces could use them to set the whole region on fire the Ethnic group of Ganda (Bagana) people and there proposed state of Kingdom of Buganda.

There are many reasons why various African states are dealing with separatist movement both internal and external forces are at play as the continents Geo-politics comes into action from time to time. In Africa the colonial masters poorly played out the ethnic card and it is the major reason for separatist movements across the vast continent. There is also religion that can’t be over looked and it is always fueled by external forces as the claim to protect their own in the faith.  That is why the wider definition of separatism is that it is the agitation of a situation (country) of cultural, ethnic, tribal, religious, racial, governmental or gender separation from the larger party.

Separatists groups are always motivated by almost the same things for example emotional resentment and hatred of what they term as rival communities, the effort to deter or protect themselves from ethnic cleansing and genocide and this is no joke because any human will act that way. In this ever-changing world a group will claim to resistance of oppression, including denigration of their language,  in misguided events there is a game of propaganda by those who hope to gain politically from inter-group conflict and hatred. Economic and political dominance of one group that does not share power and privilege in an egalitarian fashion can threaten any government in the world and its one of the issues that pushes many to even pick up arms. In the great lakes region there is a geopolitical power vacuum from breakup of larger states or empires that the foreigners or colonialists ignored.

Somalia a product of three pieces because of two European colonialists, Somalia is today effectively three nations anyway, two of which, Somaliland and Puntland, cannot receive international recognition. International recognition would open a flow of assistance to these countries, but more crucially, independence would remove the greatest risk of investing in or returning to Somaliland or Puntland

The external forces that bring about separatists are always seeking revenge due to the countries foreign policy, for example Ethiopia failed to reach an agreement with Egypt on how the Nile is shared and after the construction of the dam started the Oromo Liberation Front came up, it is a secessionist group seeking independence for the Oromia region from the government of Ethiopia. The OLF was formed in 1973 by Oromo nationalists to promote self-determination for the Oromo people.  The Oromo may have had there issues about land grabbing to develop the capital for along time but the issue of who owns the Nile has had them gain foreign influence from Cairo and Tel-Viv. Still Ethiopia the African political capital has future cases to deal with on matters dealing with secession. Eritrea managed to escape from Ethiopia after a brutal war of independence waged from 1961 to 1991.

Even the most unlikely regions, are facing separatists movements, North of Africa there is the Polisario Front which is seeking to end the Moroccan presence in Western Sahara. The PF was formed in 1973 by a group of Sahrawi students who survived a 1986 massacre and a few Sahrawi men who served in the Spanish Army.

In west Africa there is a wind that is blowing over as the Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) is cropping up again bringing back the memories of the war that the desperate attempt by Nigeria’s Igbo ethnic group to form a nation-state in “south” Nigeria in the late 1960s costs the lives of many, after some 50 years ago and too is Cameroon as the English-speaking sphere seeks Independence from the majority Francophone society, there has been unrest for now almost two years but the central government is not paying attention to the crisis that has the magnitude to turn Cameroon into a failed state if some body out paid attention.

For Africa to have a peaceful and progressive future secession movements should be given attention and critical analysis because a division doesn’t always to bring doom. Jeffrey Herbst, author of the classic 2000 study, “States and Power in Africa,” have argued that African nations are too large and would benefit, in some strategic cases, from break-up.  The logic of division has worked in Europe. Who really considers Belgium for example, to be too small.

Secession might not always be the best form for these new arrangements. Perhaps some kind of association between areas bordering one another would do. Consider Eastern Congo, which is today one of the poorest, worst-run places in the world. How could independence make things better in a country dominated by war-lords, pillaging soldiers, awful governance, and relentless poverty? Well, to find the silver lining just look at a map. Eastern Congo, which is terribly distant from the Congolese capital of Kinshasa, covers a vast area with a favorable climate, rich natural resources, and motivated trading partner. By integrating economically with neighboring Rwanda, the vast resources and human initiative of Eastern Congo would be linked physically, socially, economically, and legally with East Africa, perhaps the most thriving, rapidly-growing economic block in sub-Saharan Africa.

Every region in Africa and country is facing some form of secession uprising, it is no guarantee that a formation of a new state is the solution to every thing. Alex Perry of Time magazine rudely greeted South Sudan, calling it a “pre-failed” state and it has come to pass.

The cases of Peoples republic of Kenya and Central republic of Kenya are not unique to Africa. It’s a problem that is rising every where in the world and it should never be under looked because the scenes in Spain where not pretty and in Africa it means life and death.

 


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